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Reducing the voter base, UKIP style

I’d missed this story from earlier in the week – Magnus Nielsen, a UKIP PPC, has suggested that it would be a good idea to limit the franchise.

“I sometimes think the people who fought for the vote in 1832 and 1888 and so forth, trying to extend the franchise were probably doing the wrong thing,” he told an election hustings in West Hampstead.

“I think perhaps we should start reducing the franchise.”

The only group he admits to having in his sights at the moment is former prisoners.

Nielsen suggested that removing the vote from certain groups including criminals would increase its value.

“Generally speaking when you start taking things away, or threatening to take things away, people start clamouring and say they really want it.”

But, given that he believes Islam is ‘organised crime’ one can imagine some possible extensions of the policy.

Nielsen is not the first UKIPer, or ex-UKIPer, to suggest limiting the franchise. Tom Bursnall thinks the unemployed should be unable to vote, a view shared by Alexandra Swann. Godfrey Bloom agrees, but would consider extending this ban to public sector workers.

Another candidate offers a neat alternative solution for dealing with these pesky proliferating voters.  This is Gordon Ferguson who thinks pro-EU politicians should be hung for treason.  Those who vote for such candidates are traitors too.

Mr Ferguson, who is running for Cambridge ward in Southport, Lancashire, added: “If you vote for any of the three Lib- Lab- Con- parties you will be aiding and abetting them and you will also be guilty by association of treason against our nation. No-one should knowingly support a corrupt organisation.”

Asked whether he thought his rivals’ voters should also hang, the softly-spoken Mr Ferguson said: “If that is the law of the land, that should apply.” The decision is for judges, not him he added.

Of course Ferguson, like Haitham al-Haddad, is mistaken about the law – As Matthew Holdhouse points out in his report for the Telegraph, the death penalty for treason was abolished in 1998.